Shadow boxing is commonly used as a warm-up, but it’s often a bit misunderstood. True, you aren’t actually hitting anything or being hit back for that matter but that’s no reason to be lazy. Once you’re warmed up, shadow boxing should be used as an opportunity to push your conditioning and work on your techniques the way you want to use them in a real fight. Concentrate on your footwork and head movement as if you have a real opponent trying to cut off the ring and knock you out. Throw your strikes hard and fast, keep your hands up, and mix up your combinations. Imagine different kinds of fighters – fighters taller than you, ones that like to kick lots, ones that want to clinch with you etc. and shadowbox the way you would deal with them.
Heavy Bag Work
The heavy bag is the perfect tool to work on one very important thing – power. You don’t have to worry about being hit or hurting a partner. Heavy bags don’t tend to move around a lot so you can work on the technical side of producing bone-shattering strikes and think about what you could be doing better before throwing the next strike. The heavy bag will also condition your fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet for the stress of throwing hard strikes.
Thai Pad Drills
Pad work is absolutely essential to your growth as a muay thai fighter. In Thailand, pad work makes up the majority of a workout and it can take just as long to master pad holding as actually doing the striking yourself. When done well, thai pad combos mix the benefits of the shadowboxing with the benefits of the heavy bag. You can throw strikes with power and get used to actually hitting something but you still have to move around, defend yourself and mix up your combos based on the padholder.
This is where it all comes together – attacking and defending yourself against a real opponent. Sparring is very exciting and it’s important to have fun but remember one very important thing – sparring is not the same thing as fighting. In a fight, both fighters are there to win and are prepared to give and take at 100%, with intent to hurt each other. The goal in sparring is to get a taste of that but the goal is for both people to improve, have fun and go home without injuries so everyone is happy to come back and do it again the next day. Take care of your training partners!
Love to compete, or just want to get in great shape this year? Come and check out our Muay Thai programs in St. Albert for ages 5 and up! E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 780-217-0059 for more information.